- Genre: Thriller
- Pages: 336
- Publication date: March 11, 2021
- Buy: The Plot
Summary from Goodreads:
Jacob Finch Bonner was once a promising young novelist with a respectably published first book. Today, he’s teaching in a third-rate MFA program and struggling to maintain what’s left of his self-respect; he hasn’t written–let alone published–anything decent in years. When Evan Parker, his most arrogant student, announces he doesn’t need Jake’s help because the plot of his book in progress is a sure thing, Jake is prepared to dismiss the boast as typical amateur narcissism. But then . . . he hears the plot.
Jake returns to the downward trajectory of his own career and braces himself for the supernova publication of Evan Parker’s first novel: but it never comes. When he discovers that his former student has died, presumably without ever completing his book, Jake does what any self-respecting writer would do with a story like that–a story that absolutely needs to be told.
In a few short years, all of Evan Parker’s predictions have come true, but Jake is the author enjoying the wave. He is wealthy, famous, praised and read all over the world. But at the height of his glorious new life, an e-mail arrives, the first salvo in a terrifying, anonymous campaign: You are a thief, it says.
As Jake struggles to understand his antagonist and hide the truth from his readers and his publishers, he begins to learn more about his late student, and what he discovers both amazes and terrifies him. Who was Evan Parker, and how did he get the idea for his “sure thing” of a novel? What is the real story behind the plot, and who stole it from whom?
As you can tell from my rating, I actually really liked this book. I did, however, have some trouble getting into this one, mostly because I find the whole pretense of a book written about a supposed “sensational” book to be…well, pretentious. I’m not sue Jacob Finch Bonner’s plot would have been as earth-shattering as it’s implied to be in this work of fiction, but that is my personal opinion.
Unfortunately, I saw the novel’s actual plot twist coming starting from page 79, and it drove me crazy that the supposedly smart, Jake, did not see it coming as well. This is usually something that makes me put down a novel and never pick it back up, but this novel was an exception. Why? Because it was so well written and Jake’s character is so believable and well-developed that I wanted to see if he ever figured out the truth, and what he would do when he did.
Jake’s journey is pretty breath-taking, and even though he is technically in the wrong, you will find yourself rooting for him throughout the novel, which makes the whole thing very much worth the read.